Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick got his first start on Sunday against his former team, and made the best of it with a victory.
"It was special to me to be able to win that game," Fitpatrick told NJ.com's Connor Hughes.
Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 15-10 win as the Jets suffered their sixth loss of the season. It wasn't his best performance as he finished 17-for-34 for 187 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. But his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Charles Sims would be the deciding score, and the feat Fitzpatrick was hoping to achieve.
"I didn't play great, by any stretch of the imagination," Fitzpatrick said. "But we won the game. I'm getting too old to worry about that other stuff. I'm happy we won."
Before the game, Fitzpatrick met up with his former teammates, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, and made sure to talk to his former head coach Todd Bowles after the win. Fitzpatrick had strong connections in New York, and despite saying there were no bad feelings with how things ending last season, the win meant a lot to him.
"It has nothing to do with ill-will or bad feelings," Fitzpatrick said. "Just the relationship that I have in the building. How special those people are to me."
Fitzpatrick had a career year in his first season with the Jets in 2015. He broked the franchise record for touchdowns (31) while just missing the playoffs following a Week 17 loss to the Bills. After the season, he held out from re-signing in hopes that the Jets paid the money he thought he was entitled following a great season.
He would sign a one-year, $12 million deal, but he didn't perform to the total as he was benched twice throughout the season as the Jets dropped to 5-11 in 2016. In turn, the team didn't pick up his second year option, making him a free agent.